"The Good Doctor" is also a great play by Neil Simon, set in
19th century Russia.
The play consists of a number of stories, some funny, some sad. These
stories are tied together by the narrator, an author who is trying out his
newest ideas on the audience. He has come to point in his life, where he isn't
sure anymore if he's doing what he really wants to do and is seeking reassurance
from the audience.
Here is part of his introductory monologue and two excerpts from later scenes:
... But I've done a good deal of writing in here. ...
Perhaps too much. ... I look out the window and think that life is passing me at
a furious rate. So, I ask myself the question ... what force is it that compels
me to write so incessantly, day after day, page after page, story after story.
... And the answer is quite simple. ... I have no choice. ... I am a writer.
Excerpt from "The Seduction":
Peter Semyonych: ... If I may say so myself, I am
the greatest seducer of other men's wives that I've ever met. ... I say this not
boastfully, but as a matter of record. The staggering figures speak for
themselves. ... For those men interested in playing this highly satisfying but
often dangerous game, I urge you to take out pen and paper and takes notes. ...
I am going to explain my methods. ... In defense, married women may do likewise
but it will do them little good if they happen to be the chosen victim. ... My
method has never failed. ... Now then, there are three vital characteristics
needed. ... They are, patience, more patience and still more patience. ... Those
who do not have the strength to wait and persist, I urge you to take up
bicycling ... rowing, perhaps. ... Seducing isn't for you. ... Now then, in
order to seduce a man's wife, you must, I repeat must, keep as far from
her as possible. ... Pay her practically no attention at all. Ignore her if you
must. We will get to her - through her husband.
Wife: I think it's nonsense. ... How did he put it to you? I mean, did he
actually say "a tipical Russian beauty"?
Husband: Precisely ... And that it would be a damn shame if that
exquisite face missed the chance to become immortalized for all the world. ...
That's exactly what he said.
Wife: He gets carried away by his own voice. ... Those exact words?
You didn't leave anything out?
Husband: Oh, yes ... "That lovely face" ... I left out "that lovely
face". ... He said that a number of times, I think. ...
Wife: He does go on, doesn't he? ... How many times did he say it?
Once? Twice? What?
Husband: Let me think. It's hard to remember
Wife: It's not important ... but in the future I wish you would write
these things down.
Peter: ... Have you seen me near her? ... Have you heard me speak to her?
... Has any correspondence passed between us? ... No, my dear pupils. ... And
yet she hangs on my every word uttered by her husband. ... Awesome, isn't
it? ... We apply this treatment from two to three weeks. ... Her resistance is
weaking, weakening, weakening.
Excerpt from "The Arrangement":
Father: ...By God, it's a difficult business being
a liberal father.
Girl: Evening gentlemen!
Boy: Oh, God.
Father: Steady, boy, steady.
Boy: Is she ... is she one of the teachers?
Father: She looks like the principal to me. ... We're in luck, son. She's
a charming looking girl. ... I'll go over and attend to your tuition.
Boy: Father ... couldn't I take a correspondence course?
Father: No! Stand there! Don't move! ... I'll be right back ... and don't
twiddle with your hat. ... This is not hat twiddling business. ... Good evening,
Madame. ... A lovely April night, wouldn't you say?
Girl: Is it April already? ... I don't get out very much.
Father: No, I can well understand that. ... It's er ... it's been a long
time since I've been involved in such matters, but I would like to discuss with
you a subject of some delicacy.
Girl: 30 Rubles!
Father: So much for the delicacy. ... 30 Rubles you say. ... Well,
speaking for myself, I would say 30 Rubles was quite fair. ... But it's not for
me. It's for my young, inexperienced son. That's him! The one with the knees
Girl: It's still 30 Rubles, sir. We don't have children's prices down